Australia will soon face what is arguably one of the most important elections in its history, with Wentworth a crucial precursor in determining whether the greatest vandal this nation has ever known, the seemingly meek and mild Bill Shorten, will become our 31st Prime Minister.
Were the crossbench to support a vote of no confidence, losing Wentworth could even bring down the Morrison government. Absent that calamity, a loss could still be a fatal blow to Liberal morale, weakening their ability to fight a general election.
Of the three possible winners, Labor’s Tim Murray and independent left-wing Dr Phelps are strongly committed to some unknown republic.
Fortunately, constitutionalists have a choice.
The Liberal candidate Dave Sharma tells me he voted No in the 1999 republic referendum and is totally opposed to Shorten’s plans for a plebiscite on this. He agrees that the sole criterion for constitutional change must be that it will significantly improve the governance of Australia. He authorised me to tell delegates to a recent national conference of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy about his views.
Were Shorten to move into The Lodge, Sharma’s views could prove influential in the parliament and across the nation.
In the meantime, polling continues to suggest that Bill Shorten could prevail in the general election.
His faux republicanism would make the greatest leaders of the ALP roll in their graves. His position is far more dangerous than that of the self-interested opportunists who, in the 90s, abandoned their oaths to jump onto the republican bandwagon because they unwisely believed the commentariat’s assurance it was inevitable.
To get his republic, Shorten is committed to a path of destruction which would make even the Visigoths who sacked Rome envious.
Like most Australian republicans, his republicanism is fake. Any real republican would seek to learn from the two greatest and oldest republics in the world, the US and Switzerland. Instead, most shun those rich and valuable sources in a way our founders fortunately never did.
Most republics proposed for Australia have also been fake, intended for an ulterior purpose. The nineteenth century movement presided over by the Bulletin had nothing to do with republicanism and everything to do with racism. Just as the one proposed by the communists was only about turning Australia into an obedient Stalinist satellite.
Equally, the Keating-Turnbull model was not about republicanism but vesting extraordinary and dangerous powers in the hands of the prime minister and the political class.
Like most Australian republicans, Bill Shorten also wants a fake republic. They’re committed to the impossible, not reducing its quality while grafting a politicians’ republic onto the founders’ design for an indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown and under the Constitution. As one of the nation’s greatest constitutionalists, Professor P. H. Lane suggested, republicans should instead try to design a completely new constitution. Are they too lazy or too deceitful to bother?
Not only do these fake republicans propose a fake republic, they now justify it for the fake reason that we don’t already have an Australian as head of state.
That term is essentially diplomatic. It was so obscure when they first claimed ownership, it didn’t even appear in the Macquarie Dictionary. It’s relevant only for a narrow purpose, the rules which, especially since the Peace of Westphalia, govern royal, presidential and vice-regal travel. These cover the right to a 21-gun salute and more importantly, immunity. Apart from a diminution in immunity illustrated by the Pinochet affair and the previous generic term ‘prince’ being gradually replaced by ‘head of state’, not much has changed.
As to Shorten, not only is this fake republican keeping his preferred politicians’ republic secret, he justifies this momentous change by the fake reason which, as a former minister, he knows to be completely untrue — that we don’t already have an Australian as head of state.
To top this off, he has now decided on a fake process to get what he wants. The Constitution prescribes one way for change. This is the Swiss-style referendum, where all the details of the change are on the table before the people vote, not filled in afterwards.
Knowing that another referendum is likely to result in an even greater landslide than in 1999— 55 per cent nationally (with informals and non-voters lifting that towards 60 per cent), all states and 72 per cent of electorates.
With the opposition of over two thirds of the politicians, all of the mainstream media, celebrities and vast amounts of money, ACM led that campaign on the smell of an oily rag and on military lines reaching to close to 60,000 foot soldiers spread across the Commonwealth. Squeaky clean, operating from principles, with slogans based on rich studies of history and law, that same battle-hardened ACM machine is now being made ready to lead again, adapted to digital campaigning with teams of highly qualified advisors, real strategists from outside the swamp and supporters across the Commonwealth.
In the meantime, Shorten has adopted the Eurocrat method of bludgeoning a reluctant electorate: ‘The people must keep on voting until they get it right.’ He will have not one but two plebiscites, some sort of convention and then a referendum with not much change out of a billion or two.
And there’s the rub. For in that first fraudulent plebiscite, Shorten will seek a vote of no confidence in—whatever mess the politicians and judges have made of it— one of the world’s best designed constitutions, one achieved only when the people themselves took over its drafting and its acceptance. And without Shorten offering anything to take its place.
This is not only voting no confidence in our federal constitution, but also no confidence in the whole system from which we have benefited since settlement and which has made us an exceptional nation under God.
It is extraordinary that in this moral crime of gross vandalism, Shorten has been able to escape scrutiny. In any other old and stable democracy, this alone would make him unelectable.
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